Coffs Harbour City Councillors will be asked to vote on whether to approve an 80% complete design proposal that essentially amounts to the construction contract for the controversial Cultural sand Civic Centre in Gordon Street.
By The Editor
The proposal is set out as the first item, General Manager’s Report (GM 21/01), on the council agenda for the next meeting at 5.00 p.m. this Thursday 25 February in what could be a very contentious and momentous meeting.
The item specific Executive Summary states;
“Implementation of the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) contract (RFT-1213-QI) for the Cultural & Civic Space (CCS) Project has reached the stage of delivering the Design & Construction (D&C) lump sum offer for the CCS Project for Council’s consideration.
The ECI builder, Lipman Pty Ltd, has worked with the Design Team, in accordance with the Probity Plan, to achieve the 80% detailed design milestone which has enabled the lump sum offer for Council’s consideration. The D&C lump sum offer has been evaluated in accordance with the documented evaluation plan.
D&C lump sum offer assessment criteria and recommendation details are contained in the Confidential Attachment (ATT1) to this report, as is the associated report from the project’s independent Probity Advisor included as Confidential Attachment (ATT2) and the associated report from the project’s independent cost manager, Altus Group (ATT3) to this report. The associated BVN Architecture 80% Design Development Report is also attached (ATT4) to the open report.”
The overwhelming number of attachments pertaining to this agenda item are deemed to be ‘confidential’ and are not available for residents and ratepayers to read.
Council Executive then provides councilors with four options; Accept, Reject and Negotiate, Reject – and wait for design to reach 100%, Reject in total.
Council Executive’s preference that the proposal be accepted is mage quite clear;
“In accordance with Council’s resolution 2019/114 regarding the method of procurement for the CCS Project (Design & Construction with 2 Stage Early Contractor Engagement Procurement Model (2-stage D&C), the options available to Council are as follows:
1. Accept – proceed in accordance with Council’s brief and the 80% design documentation with the lump sum offer provided by Lipman Pty Ltd as set out in ATT1 – Confidential Report Lump Sum Offer Assessment. This option is recommended for the reasons set out in the confidential assessment (ATT1) and the benefits that have resulted from the two stage design and construct early contractor involvement procurement approach.” (CCO emphasis added)
The agenda item has already started a storm of outraged discussion on locally based social media sites.
Most comments seem to be opposed to awarding a construction contract before the delayed Council elections now due on 4 September this year from what CCO can so far ascertain.
One example is this from locval developer and tourism operator Chris Bramley;
“Clearly the builder will incorporate a health margin in what appears to be an “open scope” 20% design element. What are the parameters for that design work?
This appears to me to be nothing short of a slush fund.I fail to see why the architects are not completing the design, on which to set a legitimate fixed building cost.This is pure “smoke and mirrors” to hide the actual cost or elements the public would be outraged further to find included.“
Proposed construction timeline
Council Executive has set out a timeline for the project if the project is approved. it is reproduced below;
“The CCS project milestones table has been updated to reflect the known situation at this point in time.
|Key Project Milestones||Start date||End date|
|1||Development application processing and approval||Jul 2019||Nov 2020|
|2||Detailed design (to 80% design documentation)||Feb 2020||Dec 2020|
|3||Demolition||Nov 2020||Dec 2020|
|4||Award design & construction contract (remaining 20% design documentation and construction)||Dec 2020||Feb 2021|
|5||Construction||Mar 2021||Sept 2022|
|6||Construction contingency||Sept 2022||Dec 2022|
Council Executive’s Conclusion to Councilors:
“This report provides Council with the outcomes of the detailed design process up to the 80% milestone and the lump sum offer from Lipman Pty Ltd that will enable the completion of detailed design from 80% to 100% and the construction of the CCS project.
Given the matters raised within this report including the accompanying confidential attachments, it is recommended that the most proficient way forward for Council is the adoption of the recommendations within the report. ” (CCO emphasis added).
The CHCC Council meeting agenda for Thursday 26 February 2021 can be found here; https://infocouncil.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/Open/2021/02/CO_20210225_AGN_2236_AT_WEB.htm